Becoming A Better Leader In 2020

Six New Year’s Resolution Tips by Joseph Ellick

When a new year comes, people around the world look forward to putting things in place and setting new goals to improve personally or professionally. The biggest challenge at times is knowing what it’s going to take to make that desire a reality to apply to your success plan. One strong characteristic trait that many people try to build upon in their path to success is leadership. To become a great leader, first you have to understand what a leader is.

Leaders help themselves and others do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring!

I know what some of you are saying: “Leaders are born, not made.” Next time you hear this statement take note that this is completely false. I remember back in the high school where I played basketball, I stayed in the background letting everyone else do the talking for me although I knew I was the best player. Over time and with EXPERIENCE, you find yourself as a person and learn lessons in life that will put you in the position of leader by default because of your wisdom and knowledge.

In this article, we’ll focus on six ideas to help get you started to become a better leader in 2020.

Establishing A Vision

Establishing a vision is the first and key idea to become a better leader. Without this step, people will not buy in to what you want to accomplish. In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive depiction of where you want to be in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a marker, so you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve.

To create a vision, leaders focus on an organization’s strengths to analyze their current situation. Leadership is proactive, problem solving, looking ahead, and not being satisfied with things as they are. Once leaders have developed their visions, they must make them compelling and convincing. A compelling vision   is one that people can see, feel, understand, and embrace. Effective leaders provide a rich picture of what the future will look like when their visions have been realized. They tell inspiring stories   , and explain their visions in ways that everyone can relate to.

Here, leadership combines the analytical side of vision creation with the passion of shared values, creating something that’s really meaningful to the people they are leading.

Motivating people with inspiration

A compelling vision provides the foundation for leadership. But it’s the leader’s ability to motivate and inspire people that helps them deliver that vision. For example, when you start a new project, you will probably have lots of enthusiasm for it, so it’s often easy to win support for it at the beginning. However, it can be difficult to find ways to keep your vision inspiring after the initial enthusiasm fades, especially if the team or organization needs to make significant changes in the way that it does things. I I’ve learned that the hard way on numerous occasions. Leaders recognize this, and they work hard throughout the project to connect their vision with people’s individual needs, goals and aspirations. Once you do that to your best ability and people still decide not to follow don’t take it personal. At the end of the day people have a hard time following a vision when it’s not theirs. I’ve learned from successful mentors that effective leaders link together two different expectations:

  • The expectation that hard work leads to good results.
  • The expectation that good results lead to attractive rewards or incentives.

This motivates people to work hard to achieve success, because they expect to enjoy rewards as a result.

Other approaches include restating the vision in terms of the benefits it will bring to the team’s customers, and taking frequent opportunities to communicate the vision in an attractive and engaging way. What’s particularly helpful here is when leaders have expert power. People admire and believe in these leaders because they are an expert in what they do. They have credibility, and they’ve earned the right to ask people to listen to and follow them. This makes it much easier for these leaders to motivate and inspire the people they lead.

Leaders can also motivate and influence people through their natural charisma and appeal, and through other sources of power, such as the power to give people opportunities to make money or assign tasks to other people. However, good leaders don’t rely too much on these types of power to motivate and inspire others.

Recognize all contributions, large and small

Frequent recognition is one of the most important steps to becoming a better leader. Your team needs to know that you value their contributions, and this goes for everyone on the team, from the intern to the senior executives. Each contribution to the team is valuable, and taking time to express that value can have an amazing impact on engagement and retention. Team members who are putting in their best effort need to be recognized for that effort, otherwise you’re denying them an incentive that is, for many, on par with payment.

Always make recognition easy. Avoid the head-on approach by using tools such as peer recognition. Peer to peer recognition allows your team to recognize one another, and be recognized for, all the great work and contributions that happens on a day to day basis. The people your team members work with most closely are more likely to see and feel the impact of those contributions. 

Be a better communicator

You can’t be a good facilitator if you’re not a good listener, and any great director must express themselves clearly. Whether it’s communication between you and your significant other or between you and your team, you’ll never achieve your most ambitious goals without healthy communication. Two trucks can’t cross paths in opposite directions on the same road, and two people can’t effectively express themselves and listen at the same time. So make it a point to pull over regularly, and give others a chance to pass before heading around the next bend.

Take a risk and do something you fear

This year will be the year of growth and improvement, which means this is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. But not just something new, something you’re a bit afraid to do. That idea that has been on your mind the entire year of 2019 but you was afraid of the response, or that company you wanted to reach out to but were scared of rejection, take that risk.

Once you’ve done something you’re afraid of, you’ll have less to fear. Although danger is real, fear is a mental construct and it’s usually unwarranted. Facing your fears will help you to confidently guide others through the similar situations. The more times you face your fears, the more you’ll realize that you held yourself back from opportunities.

There’s only one way to improve here in this area, Just Go and Do It. I have broken so many barriers in my life by just reaching out and getting over that hump of anxiety that feeds your hesitation which adds fuel to your fear. You can’t be afraid to fail because that closes so many doors for you and the team you’re leading.

Find that one thing you’ve been avoiding and tackle it, don’t give up until you walk away victorious. It can, but doesn’t have to be work-related, the confidence you gain will translate either way. Maybe it’s changing the tire of your car by yourself, wearing a style of clothing you never tried before, or doing your own taxes. Whatever it is, go do it, then find the next challenge.

Stay True

The last and MOST important idea to helping you become a better leader in 2020 is staying true to yourself, true to your team, and true to your team’s overall goals. When those things don’t match up, it’s very difficult for anyone to thrive. Your team needs a solid leader to rally around. If you’re flip flopping like my father would say on decisions, and always changing how you feel on issues, it’s going to eat away to that trusting relationship you’ve worked so hard to build.

Be that strong foundation your team can build on. This doesn’t mean sticking to your decisions even when you realize they’re bad decisions. It’s more about upholding a positive and unwavering standard that others can look to for confidence. 

As you start 2020, think about how you are developing you’re your leadership skills. Make sure that your focus on leadership and your vision doesn’t stop with you, but trickles down within your team. Be a leader this new year who not only uses these skills well, but a leader who sets the bar for others to do the same.

SOURCE: Black PR Wire

 

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